Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Secret Honour (theatre)

Following on from the great success of The History Boys in August, Bootcamp Theatre's next production will be Secret Honour: The Last Testament of Richard M Nixon. The one-man play is being performed by Steve Scott (The History Boys, Blackbird) and directed by Nigel Fairs (My Gay Best Friend).

Secret Honor (without the 'u') originated as a stage play written by Donald Freed & Arthur M Stone. It was also made as a 1984 American film starring Philip Baker Hall and directed by Robert Altman. The ninety-minute monologue depicts Richard Milhous Nixon alone in his study. He just has a tape recorder, a bottle of scotch and a loaded gun, and is attempting to record his version of the events that have led to his downfall. As he does so, his paranoia becomes more and more evident.

Steve also played Richard Nixon in Bootcamp Theatre's production of Frost/Nixon last year. He has said that he is fascinated with the man's character and particularly likes how Secret Honour "strives to make him human ... They show him for what he really is, not the bogeyman or 'second-hand car salesman', but a deeply flawed human being."

Underground Theatre, Thu 8th to Sat 10th Nov, 19:45.
Tickets £10 / £9. Available online, or in person at the Underground Theatre and the Tourist Information Office.

1 comment:

  1. I had seen Steve Scott play Nixon before, just last year, so thought I knew roughly what to expect from Secret Honour. Nope! His previous performance paled to 'adequate' by comparison with yesterday's assuredness and confident physicality. I know Steve has put in many hours of work with director Nigel Fairs and this combination of script, actor and director has certainly paid off. Atmosphere is enhanced by pre-recorded sound effects and well planned lighting changes enable us to understand how Nixon is seeing himself, while the monologue swiftly and repeatedly jumps between Nixon as statesman, child, and man rapidly losing control. At a couple of moments, this portrayal of breakdown became so intensely personal that I felt the audience should even not be there - more voyeurism than theatre.
    Easily on par with Blonde Poison and Fagin's Last Hour, I am so glad this work was put on in Eastbourne but it would be a shame if these are to be the only performances. Perhaps a small tour could be considered?!